£7.5m in upgrades to NHS facilities in Norwich and beyond is on the way

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust director of finance Julie Cave. Picture: Courtesy of NSFT

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust director of finance Julie Cave. Picture: Courtesy of NSFT - Credit: Archant

Health facilities and equipment in Norwich and beyond will be upgraded as part of a £7.5m investment planned by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

The upgrades are part of a £13.5m scheme which began in 2015 to ensure region's health facilities are accessible, appropriate and safe for patients.

The trust is planning a number of projects for the 2017-2018 financial year including a £1.7m upgrade of its secure unit, £1.5m in improvements to en-suite facilities for patients, £1.9m on improving IT resilience and £500k on premises for mental health teams based in Norwich.

Julie Cave, director of finance at NSFT, said: 'Like many NHS organisations, we are reviewing our estate to ensure we do not use important NHS resources to maintain empty properties which are no longer fit for purpose.

'Disposing of these buildings provides us with vital funds which we can reinvest into maintaining or upgrading other premises so that we can provide a safe and suitable environment for our service users.'

Part of the scheme has been funded with money from the sale of Meadowlands, a mental health hospital in Yarmouth Road, Thorpe St Andrew, which closed in 2013, and another site called Highlands. The sale of the main part of the St Clement's Hospital site in Ipswich also helped pay for the upgrades.

Ms Cave said: 'The improvements we are making represent a substantial investment for the Trust, and we hope that everyone who uses our facilities likes the upgrades we have made.'

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Projects which have taken place so far include a £3m redesign programme at the Norvic Clinic in Thorpe St Andrew, which will include remodelling the wards and facilities, and £500k of improvements to the wards at Hellesdon Hospital.

The new £830k Dragonfly Unit at Carlton Court in Lowestoft, which provides specialist inpatient care for young people with acute mental health needs, was also funded as part of the scheme.

A £360k initiative to improve access to Mariner House in Ipswich was another project funded.

Do you have a story about something in your community? Email Stuart Anderson at stuart.anderson@archant.co.uk

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